Then something wonderful happened

Then something wonderful happened

“Infertility” can really take its toll. I say “infertility” because we never actually had problems getting pregnant. We just had issues with the baby sticking and developing. This was a huge distinction when fighting with insurance companies to try to get some of our tests covered.

After nearly three years suffering through recurrent miscarriage and chemical pregnancies, my wife Janette and I finally decided to take a break from trying and just live our lives without worrying about schedules, drugs, hormones and expensive solutions. During this time, without drugs, with a single tube and an egg that should probably never have managed to make its way to where it needed to be, we somehow managed to get pregnant, and it looks like everything is sticking this time. I never thought seeing a tiny heartbeat would change me the way it has.

My wife wrote the post below in the hope that it can help others suffering through the trauma that we endured for years. You are not alone.


Growing up I was never the girl who knew she wanted to be a mom.  It was actually quite the opposite.  I was going to have the career, maybe get married at some point, but that wasn’t a necessity.  Even after getting married at 24, I was still sure that I never wanted children.  I told myself we were too busy; it just wasn’t that important.

In late fall/early winter 2012 my Grandfather was diagnosed with cancer, the bad kind, the kind that you can’t fix and my feelings on family started to change.  I had a pretty large family growing up.  I was raised in a house with my parents, my sister, my grandparents (my grandmother lost the ability to move in her 40s and we took care of her), and my aunt and uncle.  So, when my Grandfather got sick, it made me start to question some of my choices.  Right before my Grandfather left us, he told my husband and I that the only regret he had in life was not having more children, that all of us were what was most important in life.

My husband and I ended up having many a late night discussion on our family, what we wanted and what was important to us.  We decided that we did want to be parents, which came as a huge shock to me.  We wanted to share our lives with someone else, and hopefully help them to become a great person.

I spoke with my doctor in May 2013, went off birth control in September 2013, and we started trying in November 2013.  The week before Christmas I found out I was pregnant.  It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t get pregnant right away, or that we would have any issues.  Yes, my dad’s side of the family had a history of miscarriage, but that wasn’t going to be me.  I was going to be just like my sister, who by this point had two little boys.

Two days after New Year Day I woke up bleeding.  I have never felt so scared or helpless in my life.  After having the sonogram done, we were told that I just must not be as far along as I thought.  I was measuring at four weeks, not six and a half.  The next day at the doctor’s office was the first time I heard the phrase “blighted ovum”.  We didn’t do anything wrong, the baby just didn’t develop like it should.  Being told it was not my fault didn’t make me feel better, neither did all the people who told me “it just wasn’t meant to be” and “it will happen someday”.  I wasn’t prepared for the guilt I felt that first time.  I have a family history, so it had to be my fault.

The next time I got pregnant and lost it was on Memorial Day of that same year.  Same situation, so my doctor felt comfortable sending me to a fertility specialist.  After five months of testing with no answers, I found out I was pregnant in November.  I felt some of the more typical pregnancy symptoms, so I was sure this one would be ok.  We went on a trip to Iceland, and on the way home, I started bleeding.  This time I was told the pregnancy was ectopic and I needed emergency surgery to remove the baby and one of my tubes.

After that we moved half way across the country, I found a new fertility specialist and the tests started again.  I was able to get pregnant twice more, this time with the help of some fertility meds, and both times, we had the same results; blighted ovum.  This is when we were told that we probably wouldn’t be able to get and sustain a pregnancy without help, so we decided to try IVF.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t covered by our insurance, so we would have to come up with $20,000.00 on our own.  At this point we decided we were tired.  Tired, of the weekly doctors’ visits, the blood tests, the sample collections, the biopsies, the HSGs, the sonograms, and the constant schedules we had to keep as to when we were allowed to be intimate.  We were going to wait six months and then go from there.

After two years we still hadn’t been able to keep a pregnancy.  No blog, or website, or well-meaning doctor or friend can help you through the nightmare that your life becomes.  The guilt (my family has a history so it has to be my fault), the anger (why does everyone else deserve to have a baby and not me), the shame (I can’t seem to get right the one thing my body was designed to do) and the self-loathing (my husband is going through all of this because I am defective).  I can’t begin to articulate the depression you fall into or the toll it takes on your marriage.  Even going to the grocery store becomes difficult, everyone else seems to be able to have the child you want so badly.  I remember looking at my nephews and being jealous of my sister.  She had these two beautiful boys, why didn’t I deserve that?

Ultimately I decided to give up.  I wasn’t going to be able to have the child like I wanted, so I would put it aside.  I decided to focus on my house and my marriage again.  So what if it still hurt every time I heard a baby cry a store or how sad it made me to see diaper commercials on TV.  I needed to make my life worth living again.

We flew home to visit friends and family, we had some friends down to visit us and planned a trip to Orlando to see my little cousin get married.  The Saturday before we left for our trip my period started, then abruptly stopped.  By Monday I was tired and snapping at everything my husband said, so even though I was sure I was wrong, I took a test.  I was shocked that it came up positive, but sure that we would be dealing with the same situation.  So, I put it aside.  We went to Florida, visited friends and family, then called the doctor the next week when we got home.

It’s now a month and a half later.  I’m eleven weeks and four days pregnant, and we are both doing great.  After two and a half years, we have finally been able to accomplish what the fertility meds couldn’t and the doctors said would be impossible.  We still don’t have any answers as to why we had so many problems getting to this point.  We probably never will.  But, we are here, and while I will never forget the babies that I couldn’t have, I will be eternally grateful for the one I am carrying now.

I’ve been asked what you say to someone who is going through what I’ve gone through.  There’s really no correct script to go by.  For me I hated hearing “it’ll happen for you some day” and “maybe it just wasn’t meant to be”.   Infertility is such a personal thing.  There is no right or wrong thing to feel or think.  It is good to get angry, and ok to be sad.  The most important thing I learned was to not shut out the people who loved me; my husband and my family.  It was easy to forget that I was not the only person going through this.

So, to the woman dealing with infertility I say this; never give up hope even when it seems like all hope is lost.

 

Docker registry auth issues

Docker registry auth issues

I ran into an issue today when scripting a setup for a private docker registry and I ended up wasting a few hours on it. I’m hoping this post can save a few people the same headaches.

After setting up a docker registry with authentication following most of what was in https://docs.docker.com/registry/deploying/ I was confronted with a rather annoying message on my console:

Error response from daemon: no successful auth challenge for https://registry:5000/v2/ - errors: [basic auth attempt to https://registry:5000/v2/ realm "Registry Realm" failed with status: 401 Unauthorized]

Unauthorized seemed pretty clear, so I checked the user’s htpasswd again, and recreated the htpasswd file:

htpasswd -bc /opt/docker-registry/auth/htpasswd username password

That didn’t work. I knew that there’s no way I messed up the username/password again, so I took a look at the output from the docker container hosting the registry:

time="2016-01-18T00:04:59Z" level=warning msg="error authorizing context: basic authentication challenge for realm \"Registry Realm\": authentication failured" go.version=go1.5.2 http.request.remoteaddr="192.168.99.101:36020" http.request.uri="/v2/" http.request.useragent="docker/1.9.1 go/go1.4.3 git-commit/a34a1d5 kernel/4.1.13-boot2docker os/linux arch/amd64" instance.id=1b872c8e-90a7-4bea-9c59-fef4b2dfba43 version=v2.2.1

The “authentication failured” type was actually extremely useful, it lead me right to the go source code that produced the error:

access.go
and
htpasswd.go

So, it looked like this was definitely a run of the mill auth error. After confirming the process could indeed read my htpasswd file, I took a closer look at the source code..

e2239e830520fae9c56c6505c54c8e95

“Only bcrypt hash entries are supported”

…. CRAP! I forgot to use -B on my command line options for htpasswd..

htpasswd -cbB /opt/docker-registry/auth/htpasswd username password

Fixed my issue, and the world was lovely again!

Big Bend

Big Bend

Some highlights from our Big Bend trip.

There is something to be said for hiking many, many miles and setting up camp out of a backpack after ascending to 6700 ft. These are memories I will never ever lose with friends that will always have a special place in my life.

If you’re ever feeling like you’ve lost yourself, take a trip up a mountain. You just might discover more than you ever thought possible. Looking at the stars at altitude you may find you’re staring deep inside yourself.

A thought for November

A thought for November

Given a wide enough window we would see that everything is ephemeral. The universe and even time itself will both one day cease to exist.

The most powerful realization I’ve ever had is that the only thing that is forever is love. Love once given can never be taken back. Sure, you can mess things up or grow to hate someone that you once loved, but those memories, those feelings that love granted to you, they will always be there.

It’s a powerful thing. Though we are not gods, and can not create the universe, all of us have the capacity to love and change others forever from their perspective.

One of our simplest and most basic actions can best the universe and time.

Fitness progress – Fall 2015

Fitness progress – Fall 2015

Since fitness is a big part of who I am, I’ve decided to post a bit more often about what I’m up to, and try to share tips and tricks from what I have learned over the months and years of trying very hard to get in the best shape of my life.

When I make these updates I want those of you who are trying your hardest to get into shape to realize this is a very long struggle, and that I started my routines over 3 years ago when I was approaching 240 lbs. These journeys are slow, they are painful, and they will test you to your limits.

But you can get there. You can achieve your goals. Believe in your yourself. Push as hard as you can and you can achieve anything.

Fitness-Fall-15

I am still struggling with remaining fat around my midsection / love handles (which I just found out is properly termed anterolateral flank). It seems no matter what I do and where I cut so far, that particular area wants to hang around. It is annoying, but I’m not giving up.

Things I’m happy with

  • Shoulder and chest development

Constants

  • I am still on a very low carb paleo-like diet. I do not add sugars to my food. I drink no fruit juices, or eat any high sugar fruits. If I need something sweetened, I use stevia or a combination of stevia and xylitol.
  • I still maintain a very high protein intake. My daily intake is mostly proteins and fats. I try to eat a lot of tree nuts as a snack to get mostly good fats.
  • I am still taking one weekly “diet cheat day”. This is where I’ll go out and eat whatever I want, but only once a week. I’ve found this really helps with cravings and gives you something to look forward to during weeks when eating the same types of foods is getting difficult. You’d be surprised how many of your normal daily foods become off limits when you shoot for an almost zero carb intake.

Changes

  • I’ve been hiking more on the weekends. Taking some time to get outdoors has been good for me, but also helps fill in any missing cardio.
  • I’ve been doing a lot more circuit style routines and AMRAP (as many reps as possible) workouts. The goal is to try to burn more fat while still building muscle.
  • As stated above, I’ve been concentrating on my shoulders and chest a bit more. I will continue doing this as I’m still not where I want to be there.
  • I cut back on running for a bunch of reasons. One of which is that my knees have never been very good (since birth) and I started to feel wear that I wasn’t comfortable with.

I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be during beach season this year, but I think I can continue to bulk and cut over the winter and try again next year.

Have a happy and healthy October! Send me a message if you’ve tried out some of our newest InShape trails and let me know if you enjoyed them!

The further consequences of free and cheap

The further consequences of free and cheap

I touched a little bit on this subject on the InWorldz blog in a post titled The hard thing about hosting things, but lately this has been coming up more and more, and I’m starting to get annoyed.

There are some very talented people in the OpenSim space. People with a wide range of skills from C++ development, C#, web development in PHP, node.js and other languages. The thing that all of them seem to have in common is that they have a passion for working on 3d software and simulations, but unfortunately we’ve found more and more that this passion and drive is being taken advantage of, and just like hosting prices in OpenSim, a lowest bidder mentality has emerged.

As a business owner and employee of small businesses, I learned a long time ago that when people don’t have to worry about paying their bills, they are more likely to be creative and solve problems in effective ways. They are loyal to your vision, and want to help see it through. They don’t have to seek out work elsewhere to make ends meet and they are appreciative of the sacrifices that you make for them.

Unfortunately the stories I’m hearing from people getting paid for OpenSim based work and from OpenSim grids paints a really disturbing picture of the way people are being used and led astray with promises.

The most recent I’ve heard is from an extremely talented software developer that is also serving as a systems administrator, a devops person, and someone that is constantly on call anytime something breaks. This person tells me that he calculated his effective hourly rate with this schedule and came up with a figure of $0.70/hr. $0.70/hr to be a software developer and systems administrator on call 24/7. No thanks, i’ll pass no matter what vague promises about the future you make to me.

Really? Is this the best that we can do? No wonder we have a hard time getting anything done and this space is considered a joke to many outsiders. I don’t think this particular joke is funny at all.

On a related note, I was just recently made aware of a comment that claimed an $800 bid to implement export, which requires BOTH viewer side and server side changes was “not great”. As if this bid to do custom software development on two separate platforms were easy and should pay minimum wage? What?

If you think paying $800 for software implementation is too much, maybe your business should be charging more to free up real money for the software development that it depends on. People’s time is not a charity to be exploited.

Software development charges from companies and independent contractors typically land in the $70 – $120/hr range. In my experience these are fair numbers, and when you pay a much much lower price to try to get the best deal, you end up getting what you pay for, and many times it’ll have to be completely redone later on. When you have to do something two and three times, the cheap rates end up not meaning very much.

So my final message is pretty simple. As we free up more cash to pay more people for their time, expect that the contractors you’re used to paying pennies to may end up finding their way over here. I won’t make any vague promises. I’ll ask them flat out what kind of compensation they think they need to complete a project and pay accordingly. I won’t put anyone on call 24/7 unless they’re being paid real wages. If they go over budget due to a bad estimate, we’ll work to make it right.

I actually like people. I want to see them succeed and be happy. Only when I see happy people working for us and alongside us do I know that we’ve truly succeeded.

Traces

Traces

We walk through life leaving pieces of ourselves scattered about.

Everyone we come in contact with, the people that laugh with us, the people we care for and love, those we hurt, those who are hurt indirectly by our actions, those we care for, and those we would die for.

A piece here, a little piece there, traces of us.

Some of the the pieces we leave are an echo. Self sustaining. Created as a living form all their own requiring no support from us. A smile, a hug for someone in need, a kind word when someone least expects it. These small things can blossom into happiness all on their own and stay with someone a long time. Echos of you, the small things that you’ll be remembered by that have helped others through their day. These are easy to give, require little risk, and often come with great reward. We’re all fighting a battle. We can all use some help. Make a point to leave echos everywhere you go.

The other pieces we give are more complex. They are difficult to part with because losing them leaves us vulnerable. We give these to only our most trusted friends and family. They require effort to support and once we give them, we’re left with an empty space if a time comes when we can no longer put energy into them. Losing the people we’ve given these pieces to can be devastating, as these are the most precious parts of ourselves. It hurts to lose these pieces, but giving them away is the key to wonder and happiness, love and brotherhood, family and fraternity.

Don’t be afraid. Leave a trace. Make it wonderful.